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House of the Day: A Colorful Return to TriBeCa

The Wall Street Journal // Aug 20, 2013

Price: $7,250,000 Location: TriBeCa, NY

Several years after first living in TriBeCa, the homeowners returned to the neighborhood, purchasing one of their dream homes, a full-floor, four-bedroom loft apartment with 11-foot-high ceilings.

Marina Smith and Carl Ekendahl purchased a full-floor loft on the fourth floor of this building on Walker Street in TriBeCa through a trust in 2008 for $5.735 million, according to public records. Ms. Smith’s connection to the trust was confirmed by Eric Hager of Davidson, Dawson & Clark, the firm that represents the trust.

A corner of the loft is pictured. Ms. Smith and Mr. Eckendahl, both in their forties, have two children ages 13 and 21. They met around 1989 in Los Angeles and moved to TriBeCa in the mid-90s. They have also lived in Brooklyn Heights, the Upper East Side and were close to Madison Square Park when they first looked at another apartment with a similar layout in this building in 2006.

The main living and dining room is shown. ‘It stayed in our minds,’ said Ms. Smith of seeing the other apartment in the building. ‘It was the one we loved and wanted but they already had an accepted offer on the unit. We were really heartbroken when it went,’ she said.

‘I think in an idle moment I was looking online and saw that this apartment was for sale,’ said Ms. Smith. ‘Knowing what it looked like we jumped on it.’ Shown here, a fireplace which Ms. Smith said could be converted to gas by a future homeowner.

Ms. Smith is a stay-at-home mom and Mr. Ekendahl works in marketing. The 11-foot-high ceilings and the layout of the apartment appealed to the couple. ‘There’s a hallway which separates the family room from the entertainment room. The kitchen is so central to the apartment. Those elements were what appealed to us,’ said Ms. Smith. The four-bedroom, four bathroom apartment is about 4,781 square feet.

A view of Walker Street from the living room space is shown. Ms. Smith described the apartment’s location as ‘slightly off the beaten path, so you’re not dealing with the constant shoppers of SoHo.’ The building is also located close to several subway lines, and the full floor apartment has its own elevator access. ‘We’ve always felt very secure,’ she said.

After purchasing the home, the couple did a gut renovation of the space, updating the kitchen, redoing the master bathroom, expanding a closet in the master bedroom and creating a library with shelving from a former wine cellar space.

Ms. Smith used faux finish on some of the walls in the apartment to give them depth and employed colors she said work well as you move through the apartment. ‘There’s no jarring disconnect between one room and the other,’ she said.

The guest bathroom is shown. Renovating the apartment took nine months and also involved refinishing the floors in a deep walnut color and adding trim, molding, custom shelving and new light fixtures.

Shown here the master bathroom. Currently the apartment’s layout is of three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a media room, a home office and one guest bedroom and library space that is also used as a home office, said Ms. Smith. ‘We still have a huge loft but we also have private spaces,’ she said.

Shown here, the master bathroom. ‘I wanted the atmosphere to be homey, warm and inviting and not sterile,’ she said, ‘yet comfortable and modern.’ The family’s art collection and decor reflects their love of New York cultural events and institutions. ‘We’re typical culture vulture New Yorkers,’ said Ms. Smith.

The fireplace mantlepiece is shown. With their son out the house, the family is now looking for a smaller space but hope to stay in TriBeCa. The apartment was listed at the beginning of July with Shaun Osher and Emily Beare of CORE Real Estate for $7.25 million.

Original Article: The Wall Street Journal